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New Study Shows Surprise Medical Bills Raise Healthcare Costs for Everyone

October 8, 2020

On October 2nd, The Brookings Institute published a study on the impact of surprise medical bills. The results were concerning, but not surprising: surprise medical billing increases healthcare costs for everyone, even folks who don’t receive a surprise bill. 

Here are some key takeaways from the article: 

  1. The practice of surprise billing causes premiums to be higher across the board for folks with job-based or marketplace insurance. Eliminating the practice of surprise billing will make healthcare more affordable for all. 
  2. About 12% of what health plans spend goes towards specialty doctors who are out-of-network. That means we are all paying more for our care. Eliminating surprise billing will ease the burden on consumers. 
  3. Specialty doctors (such as anesthesiologists, radiologists, and pathologists) often stay out-of-network in order to negotiate higher prices with health plans. Ending surprise billing will give these doctors incentive to be part of the network, and lower costs for everyone. 

PHAN is working to put an end to surprise medical bills in Pennsylvania. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact your State Representative and ask them to vote Yes on HB 1862 – The Surprise Balance Billing Act! 

Not sure what a surprise medical bill is? Check out our graphic below! 

Read the full study here.